Dwight Howard will meet with the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers between Sunday night and Tuesday. Howard wants a quick resolution to his free agency and a source said his decision could come before the end of the week.
"He wants to make a decision based on basketball more than anything else," one source said.
Howard has had the Rockets as his frontrunner for several weeks since they would instantly become title contenders.
The Lakers remain a possibility, but are currently considered second in order of preference. The thinking is that the Lakers won't be a title contender in 2014 and may struggle to rebuild around him. Also, Howard did not enjoy playing in Mike D'Antoni's system.
The Rockets are planning on pitching to Howard their team's strength in China and the lack of state income tax in Texas as financial benefits to offset the difference he can make from the Lakers.
The Mavericks will attempt to sell Howard on a two-year plan to reshape its roster around the core of Mark Cuban, Rick Carlisle and Dirk Nowitzki.
Howard has never expressed any interest in playing in his hometown of Atlanta, giving them perhaps the longest odds.
The Warriors would need a sign-and-trade agreement to acquire Howard and it is believed their meeting is largely about establishing the franchise as a marquee destination for 2014.